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Flex NB really needs improvement

John - K3MAJohn - K3MA Member ✭✭
edited May 29 in SmartSDR for Windows
I have read posts on the forum before being critical of the Flex NB and NR not working.  Many times the Flex defenders swoop in and post contrary comments that take the posting off track.  Frankly, I could never really agree or disagree as I had no personal experience using the NB until now.

I have used a Flex long enough that I agree the WNB works well on the types of noise it was designed to mitigate.  However, my understanding is the NB should be mitigating pulse type noises.  This morning I awoke to a pulsing noise between 7140 and 7170.  You can see it clearly on the panadapter screenshoot attached.  I checked another receiver 15 miles away and it was also present at this other location so I know it is not confined to my QTH.

I tried to mitigate the pulsing noise using the Flex NB.  Regardless of the setting of the NB or the AGC-T it would not touch the noise.  I knew it would not work but I even tried the WNB with the same disappointing results.

I went over to my backup KX3 and pushed on the NB and it immediately removed the pulsating noise.  Yesterday a Drake TR-4 arrived that I had purchased for a friend.  I had hooked it up last night to test it so I thought now would be a good time to test if it's NB worked.  I was pleasantly surprised when I turned on the TR-4 Noise Blanker and the pulsing noise disappeared with no distorting of the audio from a VK station in QSO.  Understand that the TR-4 is about a 50 year old rig with tube technology.  I even filmed a video with my cell phone of the noise mitigation of the TR-4 Noise Blanker in operations but cannot post it here.

As I went to post this finding several other post from 4 years, 3 years, 2 years and up to 1 year ago turned up with exactly the same statement that the NB (NR) needs improvement.

I wonder why Flex has not been able to match 50 year old NB technology on current day radios worth thousands of dollars?  From the length of time that this problem has been posted one would think there has been enough time to gather and deploy the programming resources to fix the poor operation of the current NB.  Drake was doing it 50 years ago.  Elecraft is doing it on the QRP KX3.

Flex management you should really get serious about fixing the long nagging issue.image

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Comments

  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited April 10
    Agree . . . That has been an issue since I purchased my first 6300 when they came out.
  • Burch - K4QXXBurch - K4QXX Member
    edited July 2018
    While the addition of the WNB was a huge improvement, the NB and NR on SSDR is average at best.  PowerSDR running on my old Flex 5000 was much better.  That's my only complaint about the new 6000 series radios.  If Flex can get the NB and NR fixed, the radio would be close to perfect for me.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I hope so to..Lol you guys should have tried using them before they improved them a long time ago, one thing I really do like is the way the NR works now, set at about 1 or 2 makes the band noise almost vanish.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 29
    It is on our "to do" list.  Issue #5977 in the bug tracker.
  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    it is the timeline about getting things fixed? i don't like having to turn the blanker off and then back on all the time to get it to catch up with changes
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    This goes to confirm just how good the Flex is. The NB and the ANF are not working very well. Thanks to the great AGC-T and notch filters we can still enjoy out radios.

    Could you imagine any other radio without a working NB or ANF? What if the 7300 had no working NB?
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    Love this new started  Tread/Post ,dont worry about burning a few feathers that how Kool-Aid was invented- remember its just a radio but changes cost money=
    I have agree about NB on older Boat Anchors,My Hallicrafers SR--400 II knocks socks off Flex 6400M with plasma tv noise to hear on 80 i HAD SPEND $235 on a MJF 1026 ,400-II no noise with NB on ,its amazing hallicrafter SR-150 and 400-II hears every ssb stations as well or better than Flex 6400M ,PERHAPS A firm ware up date soon on Flex 

    Joe    
  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    well to be honest i was not sure about it at first. i'm still in my 30days, i have discovered a lot of user issues on my end because of learning and a few bugs. honestly i was on the fence about whether to send it back and get the dx101mp or not. I talked to someone that owned both flex in the past and the new yeasu 101, (he now uses an ic7610) and he assured me not to get the 101, as it has lot of issues with it. So that put me on the fence about maybe sending back the flex and going with the 7610. But what sealed the deal for me today was this... Flex just emailed me and said they will ship me a new radio.  I'm sure some of the issues are bugs and not a defective radio, and i think the on-screen keyboard issue is also a bug, but we will see when i get the new radio. These bugs will not go away anytime soon. But the peace of mind it gives me that they did not even question it. That i did not even have to ask. That i don't have to box this up, ship it back and wait 2 weeks for a new one. The fact that they stand by their product. they did not tell me i was just an idiot that did not understand the radio, and they are sending me a replacement first with out me even asking for one. Makes me have faith, that while they may be a little slow on the bug fixes, i think in the end they will be fixed and this may really be the last radio i buy. Sure its annoying, I hope they take some time to work on bugs instead of adding new features. But, i think about my yeasu ft891. there are bugs in it that will NEVER be fixed. like the ticking sound when connected to CAT causes noise when you try to use digital modes. sure its a cheaper radio, but yeasu sold a lot of them and never bothered to fix it. 
  • edited May 28
    No, because the NB and ANF do work properly in other radios. AGC-T can help with noise reduction. But does nothing for someone tuning up on a QSO. The TNF is no replacement for ANF. All someone causing interference has to do is move their r interference carrier slightly and the TNF becomes useless. You should try using the TNF on an M model radio! Not easy at all. My $5,000.00 6600M should outperform my 706 for interference handling. Unfortunately, it does not. Easiest solution I found was a Timewave 599 sz. It works great. Shame to have to add an outboard device to handle what a multitude of older and newer radios do with ease. James WD5GWY
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    John, the problem you were having with the screen is not actually a bug I don't think because most users do not have  this problem. Flex realised this problem and chose to replace the radio. Glad you getting it solved.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    but James, if those radios did not have a working NB or ANF, would you keep it?
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    What would Flex have do get the NR-NB AS good or better than icoms ic-7300 or 7610,
    would a firmware up date work??
    If icom 7610 did not have some screen problems causes loss sales,7610 would be 
    KING OF ROAD $$$ for icom


  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    yes i already have the 1026 it works great. i was disappointed that for the most part it does a better job then even the WNB, however i have found there are times when using both the NB and the 1026 take out stuff that neither would do by themselves.
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    make the 1026 work best u need this 
    ebay (Mini-Whip HF,VLF active RX antenna with power feed unit) Made in Russia
    $39 


  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    well thats cheap enough i will give it a try thanks. at $25 its worth giving it a shot.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    Joe, Flex has not actually worked on DSP improvements  since it was first introduced to SSDR. In the radios your talking about the DSP is not 100% software created, meaning that they also use older analog  devices with digital software. In the Flex the DSP is 100% all software. So yes, any changes or improvements are done in software updates.

    While the noise mitigation is the all and end all when it comes to radio performance in some peoples eyes, i don't think so.
    while there are other radios that out perform the Flex in this regard, those radio fall very short compared to what the Flex does well.

    That was my point. Even though the noise mitigation is not as good as it can be, many still stay with Flex because of the bigger picture,,performance, features, and customer support.

    for me, the 7610 simply would never satisfy me, I could not sit there and look at that sort of ok screen. And then the limit on TX band width. 2.9 wide max? No multi band EQ? No thanks.
  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    ordered wow it will not be here until july :-( oh well i have an antenna i'm using with it in the mean time, but this is still a great solution so i can use that antenna i'm using now for other things when this comes in.
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    But here Flex answer add analog NB  device button INSIDE  Radio With Duel NB BUTTON  but also have digital NB .Have the best both worlds -I would use Drakes analog  device inside the Flex,Than Flex would have the whole picture in one box ,,
    I think i might join Flexes Design team
    Joe 
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    its virus hold on shipping 
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    Good thought Joe, but that is not in keeping with the direction of Flex. the radio, IS the SOFTWARE. Look at the Anan as an example, they have been working a lot on noise mitigation while Flex has not done much at all in that regard. They do all the filters in software as well and look how good it is.
  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    im not sure thats needed, for example i think the NB does pretty good, but for what ever reason its as if it checks to blank however it thinks it needs to and then if anything changes it does not resample, i turn the noise blanker off an then back on and it works again. all they need to do it make it just resample or what ever it does when you first turn it on, every so offen, in fact as you increase the noise blanker make it resample more (basically off and back on) like if its set really light then resample every minute and if its turned all the way up resample every 5 seconds. not actually turning off though, but just running and resampling or what ever it does when you first turn it on ever 5 seconds and once its figured out what ever it needs figured out it applies the new value.  Anyway as i said that would resolve the drift or what every you want to call it that happens with the noise blanker over time

    as far as the ANF just add a delay time, if it detects what to notch, then as you increases the level it increases the delay, so that for example there is the current delay (which i don't think there is one) if its low but it the anf it up to its hight say 1 second? so if someone starts talking and the filter is set up it just maintains that notch for at least 1 second, or if need be make it a separate slider for delay.
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    Bill if Anan had M model like flex 6400M ,I buy a sweet my friend has 100D AND 200 
    sounds sweet receiver  and blows my Flex NB NR away,,
    JOE  
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    John good points. If i may I would like to point something out. Because we are talking about SSDR we need to understand that anything they do in this noise mitigation is all an untested experiment with out anything already known. Everything is ground. So, we just can't say, hey lets add this or that, because they don't know what it does.

    But Flex heard us when we filled out the survey, and noise mitigation was close to the top of customers wants. and they said work has already started on it.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    One thing Anan does not have is a radio like the M models. Keep in mind. Anan coders spent thousands of hours working on their noise mitigation, I would fully expect them to pass flex in this regard.
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    My bet Anan will soon have transceiver all in one box like MB-1 from Russia-

    So what is Flex spending thousands of hours working on-lol-

    Sounds like crossbow site when they talk about custom arrow makers Kool Aid by the Pitcher fulls,
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28
    Things like Multi flex, something no other radio can do. Painless no cables needed remote, sweetest in ham radio. These have been huge projects.
    Anan will never have an all in one transceiver, Then they will have to write code for that too, no small task getting that to work.
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    Wow thats good for Flex 
    cheer leaders cheer Go Flex Go

    Let hear any updates now please flex what on Mama Iron Board for NB/NR improvements 
    Joe
  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    Bill -VA3WTB i agree, yes i do not know what it really does take to make noise blanking work or not, i do know that even if is a bandaid fix to automatically reset the noise blanker everyone  10 seconds it would still be some fix as apposed to no fix for 5 years. While i do not know how the NB code is writen, i am a software engineer (not as a hobby but as my job) and so know that sometimes bandaids are expectable if its going to be awhile before a real fix can be done. Restarting the noise blanker every 10 seconds automatically is not a complex piece of code, if i was more familiar with this then i could probably just make an outside application call the api (or perhaps even via cat) and do it for me. but again they could add it, the higher the filter is set the shorter the delay before it resets. Again probably a bandaid, but which is better no fix for 5 years or a bandaid that will help and is probably about 20 lines of code. Anyway neither here nor there, you're right they did say they will be working on it, just hope it comes in v3. As really the reason i did buy the radio was because i was hoping for help on my noise issues and not really anything else. (i did not consider the anan as i don't want a radio that 100% requires a computer to really use it)
  • John OrjiasJohn Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    I was sad they scrapped phasing, like the 5000 could do, and have no intention of putting it back in. When i can phase with the mfj-1026 and get better noise reduction than the flex can out of the box. 
  • KL4QGKL4QG Come on Man ,That Thing you know That Thing. Member ✭✭
    edited May 28
    well we lighted lots fires now let hope Flex sees the smoke signals 
    I just might see flex in person after snow melts up here I LIKE SEE THE FACTORY ,,,

    JOE

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